Some folks may think dedicating a full 10 days every year to a festival of Bavarian food, drink, and celebration might be considered a bit over the top. But they probably wouldn’t be Texans. New Braunfels’ Wurstfest has been entertaining and feeding Texans for over 50 years, offering up the local Bavarian fare—sausage—and filling the air with polka music. Conceived in 1961 by local veterinarian and city meat inspector Ed Grist, the first Wurstfest drew a crowd of 2,000 sausage eaters. Three years later, the festival was serving five tons of sausage, and attendance had passed 75,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Wurstfest is one of the largest annual festivals in the state. Musical entertainment has included Myron Floren, the Schorsch Pfeiler Band from Munich, Grammy award-winner Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra, Die Froehliche Dorfmusik, Die Schlauberger, and the ever-popular Cloverleaf Orchestra. The festival has grown in another way as well: Wurstfest allows local civic organizations to raise money for a wide variety of community projects. Where else can you enjoy a bratwurst, dance a polka, and help fund worthy projects at the same time? Nowhere but Wurstfest.
In November 2017, the Texas Historical Commission and Comal County Historical Commission honored the festival's storied history with the unveiling of a Wurstfest historical marker on the festival grounds.
Watch our German Texan Culture video to learn more about German Texan cultural heritage in Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in our German Texans mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Download the app for more videos and travel information:
Admission to the grounds is free, some programs are ticketed
Check the festival website for this year's hours.